I just got back from an amazing trip to the Caribbean and outside of befriending two of the most amazing waiters (Ricardo from the Phillipines and Satya from India) one of the coolest things I saw was a tv show on the Science Channel: Invention Nation.
As advertised: "Three guys travel the country in search of green inventions and grassroots inventors in Invention Nation." I saw a particular episode where they seek to make a "green" skateboard and meet an ecologically-minded inventor who uses mushrooms for home insulation. The cool part about the latter is that it was not flammable!
The theme reminds me a lot of William McDonough’s and Michael Braungart’s book: Cradle to Cradle; Remaking the Way We Make Things:
McDonough and Braungart argue that the conflict between industry and the environment is not an indictment of commerce but an outgrowth of purely opportunistic design. The design of products and manufacturing systems growing out of the Industrial Revolution reflected the spirit of the day-and yielded a host of unintended yet tragic consequences.
Today, with our growing knowledge of the living earth, design can reflect a new spirit. In fact, the authors write, when designers employ the intelligence of natural systems—the effectiveness of nutrient cycling, the abundance of the sun’s energy—they can create products, industrial systems, buildings, even regional plans that allow nature and commerce to fruitfully co-exist.
Anywho, I thought this was an interesting show for anyone interested in new methods of industrial design.